In February, we launched the Tricycle Community, an online global group of Buddhist practitioners and those interested in learning more about Buddhist teachings. We weren’t quite sure what to expect when we set out but were quickly surprised and pleased with the results: Over the past few months, nearly 10,000 people have signed on, kicking off a lively exchange that shows no signs of slowing down. People from around the world have participated in teachings, discussions, and, most recently, the Tricycle Book Club, among other activities, and are offering support to one another along the path.
Perhaps the rapid growth of the Tricycle Community shouldn’t have come as a surprise. It was clear enough when the first issue of Tricycle appeared, in 1991, that a diverse and inclusive approach made sense for thriving Buddhist convert communities in the West. The Tricycle readership tripled by the second issue and continued to grow over the years to number tens of thousands of readers from a broad spectrum of Buddhist schools.
Tricycle draws direct inspiration from the Tibetan Rimé movement of the late nineteenth century. Rimé,which in Tibetan means “impartial, unbiased,” was not intended to blur distinctions among schools but to recognize the importance of using a variety of approaches to benefit individual practitioners and communities with different needs. With the emergence of a global community of practitioners who share core values and goals, Tricycle is becoming more and more committed to the Rimé vision.
The Tricycle Comunity has emerged at a pivotal point in the magazine’s history. The driving force behindTricycle’s early and ongoing success, founding editor Helen Tworkov, has stepped down from the Tricycleboard after 18 years of service. We feted Helen in April with an evening of music and poetry, featuring composers Philip Glass and Nico Muhly, the singer and composer Natalie Merchant, and the seminal poet and performance artist John Giorno (while Merchant sang a poignant “Thank You,” Giorno didn’t disappoint with his ironic and irreverent “THANX 4 NOTHING,” which delighted us all, and appears in full here. Along with Glass, Pema Chödrön hosted the evening, which was followed by a celebratory dinner.
It is fitting, then, that we should honor Helen’s nearly two decades of hard work and commitment by taking her original vision online, and giving our mission to disseminate dharma’s global reach and ever broader relevance. So to you, Helen, many, many thanks for your unwavering commitment and innovative spirit. We’ll miss you.
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